The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2020 Launched by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall in New Zealand
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition, managed by The Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883. Every year, it offers all Commonwealth youth aged 18 and under the opportunity to express their hopes for the future, opinions of the present, and thoughts on the past, through the written word. The competition is used by individuals and teachers to build confidence, develop writing skills, support creativity and encourage critical thinking, using literacy to empower young people to become global citizens.
The 2020 theme, ‘Climate Action in the Commonwealth’, encourages young writers from across the globe to explore the many facets of this critical issue, which will dramatically shape the future of the Commonwealth’s 1.6 billion citizens under the age of 30.
The selection of this environmental theme is particularly welcomed by the Competition’s new principal sponsor, Moomin Characters, which has a long history of charitable work, particularly championing causes that align with the values of friendship, tolerance, open-mindedness, respect for nature and the power of storytelling. The Moomins, created by the Finnish artist Tove Jansson, are a family of friendly, round trolls who live in Moominvalley with their diverse group of friends and acquaintances. Featured as a comic strip in 1954 in the world’s largest newspaper at the time – London’s The Evening News – the Moomins are much-loved characters across the Commonwealth and beyond.
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The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition aims to challenge young people’s thinking and the means by which they can express their views, using creative forms of writing such as essays, poems, stories or scripts. Since 2010, it has received nearly 100,000 entries, from hundreds of schools across almost every Commonwealth country. Entries are judged by 150 Pan-Commonwealth volunteers. The winners are selected by an expert panel, including poets, publishers, scriptwriters, and journalists.
The Competition has been run by the Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883, and culminates with winners and runners-up traveling to London for a week-long series of educational and cultural events, typically including an Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace. The theme was launched during an assembly of local school children, who had earlier participated in a writing workshop at the library involving local authors, educators and New Zealand’s Poet Laureate, David Eggleton. During the assembly, Her Royal Highness took the opportunity to present a number of certificates to high-level winners from the 2019 Competition.
- SENIOR CATEGORY: Born between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2006 (14-18 years of age)
- Imagine you are President of one of the Commonwealth’s 31 Small States and you have been invited to give a speech on Climate Change to other Commonwealth leaders, what will you say
- There is no Planet B: How will Climate Change affect you and your community?
- ‘We will never stop fighting for this planet’ – Greta Thunberg. How can young people make change happen?
- The destruction of the Oceans everyone’s concern.
- JUNIOR CATEGORY: Born on or after 1 July 2006 (under 14 years of age)
- Imagine you are Planet Earth, what would you say to Humans?
- A Blue Commonwealth: it is not too late to save our oceans. True or False?
- In 2019, students in more than 100 countries walked out of school to protest climate change. How can young people get their voices heard and make a difference?
- My planet, my place.
- All entrants receive a Certificate of Participation
- One Winner and Runner-up from the Senior and Junior categories will win a trip to London for a week of educational and cultural events.
The QCEC is open to all citizens and residents of the Commonwealth aged 18 and under and is open until 30 June 2020.
Eligible Regions: Commonwealth Countries
Apply online through the Apply Now link.
Application Deadline: June 24, 2020Application ClosedOfficial link